Oh hey, didn’t see you there. Just kidding, I see you and I’m freaking out. It’s the day Schadenfreude, A Love Story drops, and I am THIRSTY AS FUCK. I want you to buy it. I want you to read it. I want you to like it.

This is the second in a weeklong series where I dip into my vault of mortifying photos and musical taste, as a multimodal bonus director’s cut sensory overload (or something).

Chapter 2: Sprachgefühl, from “speech” and “feeling.”

Once there was a girl named me, and she went on a summer exchange program to Germany after hastily declaring a German major halfway through her freshman year in college in 1995. Her German host family was confused when they met her, because in 1995, the only picture of herself she had to send was one of her senior portraits in high school, when she looked like this:


…but after a year of Vassar-tastic self-discovery, what stumbled out of the motorcoach in Münster reeking of Gewürtstraminer and stale Drum tobacco was this (minus the nose ring, which I acquired at the end of that summer):


Soundtrack: 20 Fingers, “Lick It”

This subtle-as-a-bag-of-anvils ode to oral sex and nasal singing, by Chicago band 20 Fingers (also famous for the similarly subtle “Short Dicked Man”) was a ubiquitous top-ten smash in Germany in the summer of 1995.

The only song that kept “Lick It” from the number-one spot was British boy band Take That’s “Back for Good”:

Whatever I said
Whatever I did
I didn’t mean it

Anthem of dudes everywhere since the beginning of time, amirite? (And yes FINE I would with Robbie, then, now and forever. And also Gary. And also the rest of them.)

To find out how everything shook out in my host family’s eccentric and posh abode (spoiler alert: It had an indoor swimming pool and old German men DO NOT WEAR CLOTHES when they swim), AND how in the hell I got that nose ring, you can scorch your eyeballs with my abysmal German grammar AND manners as you “enjoy” my excruciating failures in obtaining a Sprachgefühl.

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